NITRATE: Bacteria converts Ammonia into Nitrite and then into Nitrate.
If you suspect high levels of Nitrate use a test kit to determine
the water quality.
A good natural way to reduce nitrate is by growing Water Cress in
the cascade. Regular harvesting the crop will remove nitrate from
Commercial Kits: 'Aqua Test' 'Nitrate Pond Test'.
NITRITE: Bacteria converts Ammonia into Nitrite. If you suspect high
levels of Nitrite use a test kit to determine the water quality.
Commercial Kits. 'Aqua Test'.
Garden pools and formal gardens are a completely unnatural man-made constructions to bring order and pleasure into our lives, and require some attention if they are to maintain their appearance and add to one's pleasure.
If you understand what is happening with a pond, and why, then you are able to resolve any problems that may occur or even before they occur.
All living organisms when they die are returned to their base chemical compounds, add to this to the waste material that living all organisms produce and one can see that, in an enclosed artificial environment (a garden pond), unless measures are taken to either remove or treat the excess waste material, problems will ensue.
Bacteria converts all dead and natural waste material into chemicals that can be used by proceeding life forms. At the basic level, Ammonia into Nitrite, then Nitrite is reconstructed into Nitrate. All is re-used time and time again.
Left to its own devices, Nature will attempt to effect a balance of sorts in a garden pond, unfortunately one that is so close to the margin, that it requires little interference from man or some minor natural catastrophe to tip it over the edge. In the typical garden pond one has little chance of effecting a natural balance simply because one wants to see fish, plants and maybe a selection of Water Lilies.
To achieve this one over-stocks the pond with both fish and/or plant life to produce a pleasing effect. Therefore provision must be made to deal with the excess waste material produced by overstocking, otherwise nature will attempt to do it for you. The advent of green water, or Blanketweed, cloudy or unpleasant smelling water are sure signs of excess nutrients in the pond and, if no action is taken soon, the fish will show signs of illness and eventually die.
This is Nature's way of attempting to create a balance. The green water, or the Blanketweed is taking up the excess nutrients in the water. Fish become ill and then die. This is Nature's way of removing some of the major waste producers. Unfortunately, unlike a natural pond a balance can never be truly achieved because all the nutrients are trapped within a man-made pond and are unable to leach out into the surrounding soil because of the pond lining.
© FBAS 2004 RCM/RDE Pond Care Sheet 11 2/2